Texas Roadhouse CEO

By Cody Ross, Esq., Intern for
AnnMichelle G. Hart, Esq.
April 22, 2021

It is not easy to plan for what happens after you are no longer around. People generally do not like to consider death and the impact that it will have on their friends and family. But, as the old cliché goes, there are only two things that are certain in life, death and taxes. Because of this truth, it is important to sit down and really consider what you want to happen to your belongings, assets, and any business or other interests you may have once you are gone.  

A case on point of this is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Texas Roadhouse, Kent Taylor. Kent Taylor was the founder and chief executive of his prized restaurant. He unfortunately passed away last month when he took his own life after dealing with severe aftereffects from his bout with COVID-19. His death left the company without the person that had been the leader from the beginning. This could have destroyed the company, but because of Mr. Taylor’s planning prior to his death, his company and family were able to quickly make the necessary changes to keep the company running with little delay. 

Prior to his death, Mr. Taylor had been adamant about creating a succession plan for what would happen to his company after his death. Whether this was because he knew he was going to take his own life or because he was 65 and understood that death or retirement was going to come sooner rather than later is unclear. What is clear however is that Mr. Taylor wanted and created a clear succession plan for Texas Roadhouse. Mere hours after Mr. Taylor’s death was reported, longtime Teas Roadhouse executive (and then Texas Roadhouse President), Jerry Morgan was named as Mr. Taylor’s replacement as CEO. Because Mr. Taylor served as both CEO and Chairman of the Board, he also planned ahead and named Greg Moore, then only a board member, to take his place as Chairman. By taking the time to plan out and create a succession plan, Texas Roadhouse was able to fill the two most important roles in the company, only hours after Mr. Taylor’s death. 

Mr. Taylor goes to show the true importance of planning what you want to happen when you are no longer present. Even if you do not own a business or have a substantial amount of assets, as Mr. Taylor did, it is still critical to plan for your death. By taking the time to really plan out what you want to happen, you can save your friends and family the additional burden of trying to predict what your final wishes would have been in an already emotional and trying time for them. 

In order to have the best chance of your final wishes being respected and granted, it is important to retain an estate planning attorney. By retaining an attorney, your final wishes can be clearly and concisely written out and recorded. This allows for your estate plan to be effectively executed as soon as possible after your death. It will save your friends and family the additional stress and worry of attempting to handle your estate after your death, and it will ensure that your final wishes are properly executed.